The Akwa Ibom State Civil Service is in the eye of the storm following the appointment of a new Chairman to oversee the activities and duties of the commission.
On Tuesday, August 11, Governor Udom Emmanuel sent a letter containing nominees for appointment into Akwa Ibom Civil Service, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Service Commission, and Uyo Capital City Development Authority to the Speaker of Akwa Ibom House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
In the list was Mrs. Ekereobong Samuel Umoh, the immediate past Head of Civil Service, recommended for approval as Chairman of the state Civil Service Commission.
An anonymous source confided in Straightnews that Mr. Sunny Akpadiaha who was the Chairman of the commission resigned owing to some irreconcilable differences with the state chief executive.
Recall that Akpadiaha headed a 21-member Transition Committee inaugurated by Udom Emmanuel as a Governor-elect with a charge to “ensure a hitch-free transition to the next administration on May 29, 2015.”
The source said “The Governor was said to have sent some names to him to be promoted as Directors, but Akpadiaha declined on the basis that the people were not in the public service but workers in the private sector.
“The chairman argued that the promotion would backfire in that only public servants could be promoted. He further said as a one-time Head of Civil Service and ex-Special Adviser on Public Service Matters, he had not promoted nor seen the promotion of non-civil servants, an act which seemed to have circumvented the established civil service rules.
“When he took a list of senior public servants recommended for promotion to the Governor in his office, the state chief executive asked him if he had done what he (Governor) wanted him to do. The chairman said ‘no.’ The Governor allegedly flung the file away and turned his attention from him. In humiliation, Akpadiaha furiously walked out of the office.
“On reaching his office, Akpadiaha summoned his staffers and narrated the sad experience to them and his intention to resign. The next day, he tendered his letter of resignation to the Governor.”
Another source told the online newspapers “The Chairman and the Governor were not in the same page with one another on public service matters, though it appeared there was a harmonious relationship between them.
“The immediate past commission Chairman told the Governor that it was not proper to have sacked 723 staffers of Akwa Ibom Local Government Service Commission because they had fulfilled all the civil service formalities and were earning their monthly salaries. He suggested to the governor to recall the sacked but to no avail.
“Again, the Chairman was not comfortable with delay in the payment of promotion arrears to public servants in the state, an idea the Governor was said to have frequently spurned.”
However, a medical doctor in the employ of the state Ministry of Health who did not want his name in the print held a different view as to what led to the resignation of the commission’s Chairman.
He said that “God had caused the rift between the duo because Akpadiaha denied some of us promotion on the basis that we did not sit for Administrative Class examinations.”
According to him, “Though the circular was not made known to some of us in time, the then Chairman of Civil Service failed to promote us after an oral interview on the basis that we did not sit the mandatory examinations.
“The circular was there when Obong Edem Akpainyang, the then Chairman of Civil Service Commission waived it and recommended us for promotion. But Akpadiaha refused to do so and some of us retired without reaching the director’s cadre. Based on what we saw as ‘cheating,’ some of us cried and prayed against him for frustrating us. It is God who has answered us,” the doctor stated.